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  1. #1
    JeffWard's Avatar
    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    12 Gauge Pistol???

    I had a friend ask, and I didn't have an answer... Someone point my head!

    If a 12 gauge double-barrel shotgun has the stock reduced to a pistol grip, and the barrel chopped, is it legally a pistol???

    ... ie can it legally have a <18" barrel in it.

    I understand that in most states (and federally), you cannot own a SBR/SBS (short barrelled rifle or shotgun). But where is the line drawn between pistol-gripped shotgun, SBS, and shot-pistol, such as the Judge?

    I've heard you cannot convert a rifle (specifically an AR-15) to a pistol without extensive federal paperwork. But you can BUY an AR-15 "pistol" if it started life that way...

    Is there similar restrictions on a shotgun?

    His goal is a pistol-gripped 12, with a 12" barrel, shooting reduced recoil 1.75" buckshot loads...

    JeffWard

  2. #2
    Naterstein's Avatar
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    Good question. As far as the judge is concerned, it has a rifled barrel for the .45 LC, I think, so perhaps thats helps it's claim.

    I would say you need a AOW stamp for any smoothbore shotgun under 18".

  3. #3
    Todd is offline Banned
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    I think he needs to contact the good ol' BATF for that one. Then, when they send an agent or two to his house, he can explain in person why he wants a shotgun that's so short.

    And I agree with Naterstein's theory about the Judge.

  4. #4
    JeffWard's Avatar
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    Why? Same answer as the judge... Anti-carjacking gun?

    Who be an interesting toy... I suggested just making it 18"

    JeffWard

  5. #5
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    If it could be considered a pistol then barrel length limits would not exist. Cut it under 19" and it's a pistol eh? No, it's a sawed off/modified shotgun and you are in trouble for having it. It's that way in Kentucky and Ohio anyway. I think Indiana too.

    Now I understand states will all have different limits and maybe a few haev none and you might just be able to do it. But in a court you are going in with a shotgun that had been modified. It was sold as a long gun. It's just been cut down.

    And there is the rub. If it was me I'd talk to some people that know the laws for your state and any other states this gun might find it self in. It is a really interesting question though. I would like to know the laws on that in other states.

  6. #6
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    It's against federal (not state) law to convert a rifle or a shotgun into a pistol. Don't do it. The penalties are huge.

  7. #7
    biotech's Avatar
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    When the receiver is originally filed as a firearm to the BATF and the excise tax paid, it is designated as rifle or pistol. Once a rifle it can never be a pistol. A pistol receiver can be changed to rifle but once done can't be changed back. Thompson Contenders were exempted from this ruling when changing to the rifle barrels on the pistol frames. A riot configuration shotgun can have a pistol grip and minimum 18 inch barrel (It is still considered a rifle). The barrel length on a legal shotgun must be at least 18 inches long from breech to end of barrel. Anything shorter must be licensed as a AOW. The AOW license( Tax stamp) must be in possession before the weapon is made.

  8. #8
    JeffWard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    It's against federal (not state) law to convert a rifle or a shotgun into a pistol. Don't do it. The penalties are huge.
    That's the answer I gave him... Thanks for the confirmation... If it started life as a rifle OR SHOTGUN, it cannot be converted... A Taurus judge, came from the factory as a pistol. An AR-15 "Pistol" came from the factory as a pistol....

    Silly law, but a law...

    Thanks.

  9. #9
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biotech View Post
    ...A riot configuration shotgun can have a pistol grip and minimum 18 inch barrel (It is still considered a rifle). The barrel length on a legal shotgun must be at least 18 inches long from breech to end of barrel...
    There is also a federally-mandated, minimum overall length. I am not sure, but I believe this to be 25 inches.

  10. #10
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    I'm not sure about over all length but I've heard for years that the bbl needs to be 19". And being some LEO measure from the end of the barrel or the end of the chamber I was always told that. it was in my best interest to add another ince and never let them be below 20". I know there are shotguns that might be made a little smaller but when it comes down to cutting the bbl 19" was the most to push it.


    I would imagine that with a 19: bbl and one was to add a pistol grip or cut the stock to just where the grip is it would be around 25"

    All this 12 gauge talking is making me want to get another one. Only one I have to shoot is a 835 Mossberg that is no way a HD gun. And I don't want to cut it. Thinking an 870 Rem or a 500 Mossy

  11. #11
    JeffWard's Avatar
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    I think I talked him into chopping the barrel to just over 18", and then reducing the butt-stock by about 2", and installing a new recoil pad. This would bring it down to a trim 32-33" overall length. Good for tight spaces, and storage behind the seat in his truck (the intention), but still be legal, and retain a stock. Also, no refinishing of the wood if he pistol-gripped it.

    We're going to do it in my shop this week, so I'll snap some before and after pictures of the "Coach-Gun" Bob...

    Before: 43" gun w/ a 26" barrel, mod/full choke.
    After: 33" gun, w/ an 18.5" barrel, cylinder choke.

    Then we'll go and abuse ourselves with it!

    JW

  12. #12
    Revolver's Avatar
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    Federal law states that any shotgun that has a barrel less than 18" in length and overall length that is less than 26". It is 16" and 26" respectively for rifles. This is in the "Gun Control Act" of 1968 Sec. 5845.a. Barrel length is measured from muzzle to bolt when breech/action is closed.

  13. #13
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Thanks for looking up the exact length allowed.
    I didn't because I was in a hurry. (Silly, huh?)

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